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February 21, 2013


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Brian Tamanaha

"One problem is that the Standards are too law faculty-centric. They reflect too much of what deans and professors think legal education should be, rather than what is truly necessary to ensure quality. To some extent, this is probably an inevitable consequence of self-regulation. However, the Standards are more protective of faculty prerogatives than the rules of any other accreditor....Although the language of the rules is murky, there is an expectation that a large percentage of the faculty will be on tenure-track or have long term contracts. Every school must have a scholarly mission and devote resources to that undertaking...."

Your obviously anti-intellectual views will endanger academic freedom, diminish legal scholarship, and destroy the greatest system of legal education in the world.

David Yellen

Given your prior writing, I assume this comment was ironic?

Brian Tamanaha


concerned lawyer

The way you describe the standards, I would laugh if the consequences were not so tragic. Every faculty member must have an office? That is preposterous, when you consider that corporations in countries like Japan operate virtually without individual office. Rules like that make it self-evident that the regulator has been captured by the regulated industry. Shameful.

Make ABA accreditation statuts contingent on (1) graduate placement in JD-required jobs and (2) average student indebtedness. Set a bar, under which "failing" schools are placed on probation until they increase employment prospects, lower student indebtedness, or both. Schools that fail to improve lose accreditation status.


I would like to see a tighter grip - provided the ABA policed certain issues they now ignore. 34 CFR §602.16 provides in part that criteria for accreditation includes

(a) The agency must demonstrate that it has standards for accreditation, and preaccreditation, if offered, that are sufficiently rigorous to ensure that the agency is a reliable authority regarding the quality of the education or training provided by the institutions or programs it accredits. The agency meets this requirement if—

(1) The agency's accreditation standards effectively address the quality of the institution or program in the following areas:

(i) Success with respect to student achievement in relation to the institution's mission, including, as appropriate, consideration of course completion, State licensing examination, and job placement rates.


(vii) Recruiting and admissions practices, academic calendars, catalogs, publications, grading, and advertising.

(viii) Measures of program length and the objectives of the degrees or credentials offered.

If the ABA would in fact enforce (a)(1)(i) especially when it comes to employment, bar passage rates and for that matter cost of attendance versus salaries - and withdrew accreditation from schools that say had a less than 90% employment rate, 85% bar pass rate and CoA of say more than one times average salary - that would be a good idea. Then requiring that courses be orientated towards professional practice.

Of course that would be catastrophic for maybe 100 of 200 odd ABA accredited law schools - another positive.

ASWD Law northern kentucky attorneys

Surely a lot of law schools would be overwhelming with joy after reading this. It is indeed feel good to be at loose from the very choking rules and regulations that law schools implement in accordance with ABAs.

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